By B. Witham
Started as an audacious test, for thirty years the Hedgerow Theatre prospered as America's so much profitable repertory corporation. whereas recognized for its well-known alumnae (Ann Harding and Richard Basehart), Hedgerow's legacy is a dwelling library of over 2 hundred productions created by means of Jasper Deeter's idealistic and made up our minds pursuit of 'truth and beauty.'
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Additional resources for A Sustainable Theatre: Jasper Deeter at Hedgerow
Paul Green was absent for most of the rehearsals, but as opening night loomed he came to New York for his debut. It’s impossible, of course, to recreate what he saw or to recapture the tension that accompanied that historic opening, but we do know that Green was deeply upset with much of what he saw and recorded that anxiety in a written note to Deeter. 1. It’s too slow; speed it up. 2. too much mumbling especially Bledsoe in prayer scene, road scene and final scene. 3. the whipping is ridiculous.
I spoke of the tenth anniversary. I was a young man then, just home from Athens. I don’t know why I felt I had to go to Greece. I knew then that I was going to teach something within sociology, and I didn’t want anything that I felt about beauty to be left out of what I formulated about society . . 12 But Holden does not emerge unscathed in Inheritors. Because of his wife’s ill health and his own need for security, he allows himself to be silenced. Unlike Jig Cook who could make the grand gesture, Holden agrees to the pragmatic compromise—“You don’t sell your soul.
Esherick was introduced to Hedgerow by Deeter’s sister who was an osteopath and friend to Wharton’s wife, Letty. They were both immediately supportive of the notion of a truly sustainable theatre, playing not for profit but for a creative life, and over the years became active members 24 A Sustainable Theatre of the community. Both of their daughters grew up as company members at Hedgerow, and Wharton eventually formed a lasting relationship with Miriam Phillips, an acclaimed member of the company, after separating from Letty.